ICAS hosts New York dinner for CAs
Andrea Murad reports from the recent ICAS dinner in New York and finds out more about the CAs who are part of the institute’s New York community.
ICAS President Ken McHattie CA and Chief Executive Anton Colella hosted New York CAs for a cocktail reception and dinner on 8 June at the Sofitel New York in midtown Manhattan.
The evening gave members a chance to network with colleagues and to learn about ICAS global initiatives. Today’s business world is rapidly changing, and ICAS is committed to understanding what’s relevant to its members.
“How do we better serve our members who aren’t in the USA?” Ken asked.
ICAS’ New York members have worked on almost every continent and a few Caribbean islands. While many lived locally, there were members who travelled as far as Philadelphia and Dallas for the event.
No matter how long everyone had been working in the US, being a member of ICAS is a source of pride for all. “One of the key things is trying to bring the ICAS community together here in New York so people don’t feel isolated,” said Charles Anderson CA, the New York metro community chair of ICAS. These events help keep members informed of initiatives at the institute.
We want to create community. It’s about creating relationships and building community — the community can help with opportunities in the future.
ICAS has undergone considerable changes over the years, starting with a vision for a US community that focuses on New York, Boston, Houston and San Francisco. “There are lots of places where we can have proper networking,” said Ken. “We’re trying to be more relevant in your work areas, try to break out the areas to put you in touch with people in other areas. We need to understand what you do. We want to help you network.”
Sometimes opportunities come and careers change when least expected too. “I chose to be a teacher and studied theology,” said Anton. “My ambition was to be a headmaster at the worst schools, but you never know who you’re sitting beside at a dinner or event. Before you knew, a short impression resulted in a phone call from the Scottish executive.” On that call, he was offered the position of the Chief Executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). A few years later, he left to work for ICAS.
“The second of October of this year, I’ll have been your chief executive for ten years,” said Anton. The New York community was started about nine years ago and has been growing ever since. “From the very beginning, I want to be a bigger part of your life and to become something very real,” said Anton.
Accounting is a global profession and while being portable as a professional is important, so is achieving the American dream. “We’re looking to be an institute of entrepreneurs, business leaders, influencers — not just accountants,” said Anton. “We want to create community. It’s about creating relationships and building community — the community can help with opportunities in the future.”
I love being in this city. I would have loved to spend my career here — you’re very lucky.
While many currently work at the Big Four or one of the investment banks, many other CAs have branched out to other industries to pursue different opportunities. Ian Wise CA is an assistant professor at Wagner College. Sandy Needham CA pursues his love of photography. Paul Thomson CA has embraced entrepreneurialism by starting the insurance company, Scottish American. Paul Ross CA is president and CEO of Edrington Americas. He spent his morning talking to Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business about Macallan Distillery’s release of its “Peerless Spirit”, a rare 65-year old $35K whisky.
“I love America,” Ken said. “I love being in this city. I would have loved to spend my career here — you’re very lucky.” As more CAs cross the pond to work in the US, ICAS intends to provide them with a community that’s more like family to help bolster their careers while maintaining ties with the homeland.
Are you a CA in New York? What do you love about the city? Get in touch using the comments below.